We spend a lot of time and effort trying to “beat” the other guy. But trying to beat others is a complete waste of your time. And it’s not how the pros do it. Paul Kingsman talks about how he trained as a competitive swimmer not to beat others, but to win by competing against himself. “We took the view that the objective was to swim two minutes; I had no guarantee that two minutes would be fast enough to win,” Kingsman says. “But I hit my time and on the day, it was good enough for a medal.” As it turned out, Kingsman nabbed that Olympic medal by only four one-hundredths of a second!
The new year is a good time to think about what we want to excel in. But as we do it’s important to note that winning–-be it gold, silver, or bronze–-involves factors that are often out of our control. You can’t control how fast the other guy swims or how many products another businesswoman sells. You can only set challenging, measurable goals for yourself and work to achieve them.
In doing so, though, you may find others starting to try and compete with you, but then they’ll be making a mistake that you no longer make.